“Wherever I wonder, wherever I roam. I couldn’t be fonder of my big home.” Bare Necessities – Walt Disney Studios
Have you seen the “Waving Bears“? A video of some very cute bears waving at onlookers went viral in or around 2010 and ever since then has become quite the hit in America! They’ve been featured on local news stations and even national news stations. I myself had the fortunate pleasure of viewing the video around a year ago and was so impressed and entertained by these 1000 lb creatures I showed many of my friends and family.
So before we did the loop, by chance I decided to show my sister the video of the waving bears. I had come across it on accident and decided to show my mom and dad as well. It never occurred to me before to actual find out WHERE these bears were located. I often thought they were in some far away place like Scotland or Alaska etc. So as I was showing the video to my family they were talking about the places we would drive through on the The Loop trip and one of those places was Sequim WA…WHERE THE WAVING BEARS ARE!! What are the chances right?! You can’t imagine my excitement. I was going to see the waving bears in PERSON!
So the place is called, “The Olympic Game Farm” located in Sequim WA. It’s pronounced “Squim”. Why? I don’t know.
Here’s the info on what the Game Farm is about. Taken from their website:
“For over 40 years, Olympic Game Farm has provided an opportunity for visitors from all over the world to learn and observe wildlife, igniting countless imaginations.
Olympic Game Farm is the place to get face to face and experience wildlife at close range, offering visitors the opportunity to really see a tiger’s stripes, a rare white Siberian tiger, a Kodiak bear’s huge size, or to get slobbered by a buffalo!
With over 200 animals onsite, our driving tour leaves our visitors with vivid memories of these amazing creatures; experiences which, at first are hard to imagine, become pleasantly surprising. Friendly llamas and yak eat bread from your hand, clowning bears stand up and wave, and the elk and buffalo peacefully grazing in the pastures.
Olympic Game Farm worked exclusively for Walt Disney Studios for 28 years, filming here at the farm and on the Olympic Peninsula, as well as on many different set locations. A few popular titles produced with our past animal actors, are “Charlie the Lonesome Cougar”, “The Incredible Journey”, “White Wilderness” and “Grizzly Adams” television and movie series. In 2012, we had used our black bear “Kitty” and wolf “Brutus” in “Serenity Farms”. In winter of 2013 we used “Kitty” once again in a National Geographic documentary on black bear in the city. Summer of 2014, “Leland” a black tail deer was used in the filming of “Captain Fantastic” as well as Olympic Game Farm used as a filming location for a scene.
After the death of Walt and Roy Disney, Disney Studios began to move away from the nature films that had been so dear to Walt’s heart. In 1972, with the approval of the Disney Studios for using the Disney name, Olympic Game Farm, Inc. was opened to the public. Our founders Lloyd and Catherine Beebe, retired from the filming industry and focused solely for caring for their animal actors, concentrating on offering “in need” captive bred animals a new and loving home. Olympic Game Farm will continue to accept in-need wildlife, as space permits and with the proper authority approvals. We cannot accept local animals from the wild without proper permission from Washington State Fish and Wildlife.”
That’s a lot of info but it’s necessary to understand how AWESOME this place is. So we started our driving tour and saw some really cute and cudly animals. REMEMBER: ONLY FEED THE ANIMALS 100% WHOLE WHEAT BREAD!!!
At this point we were very high on the hill and you could see down over the farm. If you look toward the bottom right corner you can see the crazy llamas going up to that car.
After the deer and prairie dogs, you drive down the hill and drive through a little section of YAK’s sitting on the side of the road. I did not take pictures because I was driving and the Yak’s were kind of taking up a huge space in the road. I had to concentrate. They’re also quite intimidating. 😉
You’re instructed to NOT STOP while you’re driving through but it’s quite difficult to do that seeing as the animals are directly in the road and won’t move. We had a little follower along the trail.
We came upon the llamas and they are most interested in the food you have to give them. Check out the video:crazy llama
I got a little freaked out because it felt like we were being taken over by these animals and we couldn’t move! It was much easier to feed them from far away LOL: Feeding the llamas
I have to say that I was a little ready to get out of there! We eventually came to the bears! This was the most awesome experience. It was everything I thought it would be. Check out the video:Waving Bear Some of these bears are circus bears and others are trained. They’re pretty docile and SOOO cute!
Some of these guys are just hanging out…you know…relaxing in the pool. lol
This guy didn’t even get any bread but was ready to wave anyway!
I think I fell in love with these guys! I’d go back just to see them. 🙂 So cute.
The next part you come into is the secured area where the animals are in cages. It sounds terrible but all of the animals that are in the park are rescued from some bad situation. Some were pets of owners who could not take care of them (shocking *hint of sarcasm*), some were abandoned and others were just rescues.
We did not drive through the trail where the buffalo were. They too, like the llamas, are very ready to get the goodies from inside your car! Llamas are one thing but buffalo are QUITE another! And dad was not having that hahaha.
At the end of the tour you get to tour the barn that housed some of the Disney movie sets for certain movies. There’s some farm life like these cute little goats.
We talked to a very nice girl, though I have since forgotten her name. She was a part-time worker there at the farm. Her family owns a farm of their own (a real farm) and she was a cool young lady.
We ran into a very terrifying creature. My level of fear was at an all time high, for not only was he big but he made sounds that you would only hear in a horror movie!
Beautiful bird though this turkey may be, notice those white feathers that are touching the ground; he drags them across the ground and makes a vibrating low growl sound. It’s SUPER CREEPY! Notice the lines in the dirt from where he kept dragging his feathers! UGH! I tell you it was something out of a horror film!
There was a nice little aquarium just next door and then you come to the final stop in the tour which is the barn that housed some movie sets for Disney. There were a couple of films that were filmed in there but never made it to production. One in particular was called, “Lessie’s Rainbow”.
I thought this was pretty cool; I can’t remember why they have this tree trunk but it’s 1000 years old.
Lloyd Beebe and his wife.
Here are the horns of an elk that Lloyd Beebe had on the property and was very fond of.
Lloyd Beebe tamed this wildcat. I forgot if it was a bobcat or a lynx. I don’t remember. Maybe someone can help identify it.
On of my favorite movies as a kid was “The Incredible Journey” and little did I know that some of it was filmed here at the game farm.
There were many films that either used animals from the farm or used parts of the farm to film.
One in specific was “Grizzly Adams”. I know most of the older generation of people will remember this. This little house was the exact house they used in the film.
This was absolutely the coolest trip! We enjoyed every minute and I’m so happy we got to see this amazing animal farm! I would recommend it to anyone driving through and it’s definitely worth it. 🙂 For more information on the Olympic Game Farm visit their site: Olympic Game Farm WA